James Lileks on vampires - I remembered why I used to read this guy every single day. And he uses words like "flense" and "desuetude" with a casual competancy that wins my heart.

Snowflakes - OK, this is old, but I won't even say how much time I spent with it. And check out the snowflake's shadow... it changes as you cut!

Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva Dance - Amazing.

Google Earth - No, really. Try this. Jaw-dropping.

Now that I've slept a lot and my feet don't hurt...

- It was really really great to see Jen and Terry again. I think I didn't make that explicit enough. There are few people who would run around for a day with me dressed as (and acting like) a teddy-bear hunter, as well as get involved in a drive-by Tribal dance routine. And Terry was late, and disorganized, and doing things spontaneously, and spending more money than he planned, so it was worth the price of admission just to see that. :)

- It was also really really great to meet some of R:tAG's Pinnacle colleagues. I was amazed at how quickly and effortlessly it seemed like I'd known them all (and liked them!) for a long time. Great folk.

- On two separate occasions, I had a conversation that started with "Where are you from?" and ended with "Saskatoon??!!!??? Me too!" One was understandable, since I'd never met the guy (he moved in June) but the other was someone I had actually met a few times. My defense is that at GenCon you're constantly seeing people who look familiar. It's like there's about 10 "Gamer" prototypes that everyone's just variations of.

- You can't pay too much money for a good pair of shoes.

- I will avoid flying Frontier until they change their policy of serving Doritos on board. The trip back was pure hell.

- Layne has ruined my ability (slender as it was) to do a German/Eurotrash accent. All I kept hearing in my head was "But it is so wonderful to be naked and free!" and stifling giggles. Damn your eyes, Layne!

- I talked with Ron Glass! Squeeeeee!

So. Back from GenCon, which was a hoot. I didn't actually end up playing many games, because socializing was far more fun, and it was too much work to sort out a schedule on the fly. Man, there were a lot of choices. Too many, I almost think. I did make three LARPS, one of which was run by my second-favourite Cthulhu Live ST (my first favourite being, of course, R:tAG). This guy is one of the few STs I know to obsess as much as I do about setting, props and costumes. We shamelessly begged our way into his full-up game despite having only generic tickets. It was Cthulhu Dark Ages, the first he'd ever done, and while I had great fun I felt my familiar problems with any Dark Ages game surface. It's just too hard to get into a mediaeval mindset, in my opinion, even if you're trying, and I was surprised to see some people not even trying. I mean, you don't have to have a degree in history to understand that society was different then, do you? And if you sign up for a LARP, you do understand that you're playing a role, don't you? But I don't want to sound like a total snark, most did well, and the game was fun. Crusaders and Muslims facing eldritch horrors that threatened all humanity, and still killing each other. Heh.

(That game of his wasn't the one that I wanted to get into, though. That one was the WWII German U-boat one, where he and his crew had constructed a 16' x 24' submarine interior out of PVC pipe and sheeting, complete with control panels, lighting, a working vintage phonograph and field telephone, and a galley filled with potatoes and Spam. The attendance limit in that game was, for obvious reasons, non-negotiable. I did get a tour of the set after, though, and it was mighty impressive.)

Deciding at the last minute to enter the costume contest also played hob with my plans, since that ended up taking most of Saturday what with the dressing up and the running about and the actual contest and the hey hey hey. Jen and I decided to steal a brilliant idea from Carla, Layne et al. (don't remember who all was involved, sorry) and dress up like teddy bear hunters. As in, hunters of teddy bears. We spent Saturday morning stalking catgirls and stuffed animals carried by small children. We had so many people say "You'll win the costume contest!" that we decided to enter the costume contest. And we did indeed win our category, and $100. The overall winner had taken 5 months to make her costume, which involved 12' moveable wings and 5,000 golden pheasant feathers. Considering I spent $20 on teddy bears and 2 days gutting them (with Suz's unnervingly willing help), and the costumes started out as a joke about catgirls, I can't complain.

(I am slightly worried that my first picture ever on this blog shows me like this. Honestly, I'm an adult.)

OK. Last set of vistors waved-farewell-to (and there may also have been hugging), last bit of cleaning ready to start, last clothing bit packed (opening my suitcase is like looking into the Abyss, but black is so versatile!) and off to GenCon. With a brand new sinus cold. Yuck.

In retrospect, of course, going off to spend four days with 40,000 people (most of notoriously questionable social skills) is probably not the best way to cap off three weeks of houseguests and sightseeing. I'm starting to resemble a rabbit in a petting zoo at 5:30 PM. I hope that something will snap and I'll just pass through all the stress and anxiety into a calm floating pool of Zen acceptance. Or sociopathy. Either-or.


I'm not dead yet! But the visitors are all starting to blur together. I was trying to continue a conversation with Suz that I'd started with Jeff, used an in-joke from Ben and Rilla with Randy, and almost sprayed Orange Guard on Chris.

Man, though, it's nice to have friends. Just thought I'd say that.

We're really really looking forwards to our visitors from Saskatoon. This morning, though, we found visitors that we didn't want. The kitchen floor was black with ants. Little teeny-tiny ants, apparently "grease ants" since they seemed to be ignoring the sugar-ant traps that we had around (we'd been invaded before, but not this exuberantly. ExuberANTly. Heh.) Something, apparently in the kitchen garbage, had drawn them in from our backyard, a distance of about 7 meters and through a patio door. I swear the garbage didn't smell that bad.

They were in a neat marching line, about a centimeter wide with a few foraging tributaries, for almost all the distance until they got to the region of the garbage can where they turned into a "freaked-out mess" in the words of a friend of ours who had had the same problem.

So a quick trip to the hardware store (which has an entire aisle of anti-ant products, our first clue that this is not a problem unique to us) produced an orange-peel based spray which, in addition to smelling really quite pleasant (pleasANT. Heh.) kills the little suckers on contact and repels future invasions. and is not so extravagantly (extravagANTly. Heh. OK, I'll stop) toxic as Raid and sprays of that ilk.

I think there's a story in here somewhere. If only Leiningen had had "Orange Guard."

Partially Clips

Does that make me a bad person?

Two days until our next deluge of visitors, and I am still full of warm and fuzzy thoughts towards Rilla for doing some major cleaning before she left. I find it difficult to clean my own house, let alone that of another, so such charity astounds me (and I'm kicking myself for not pointing her towards a few other places in the house... and the car is dusty... :))

The City of Villains beta starts soon, and I'm gingerly participating. Not gingerly because I think the game will be anything other than excellent (with R:tAG involved, how could it be?) but because of my tendancy to motion sickness, or, more accurately, simulator sickness. I was also worried because I'm pretty unfamiliar with City of Heroes, but R:tAG assures me that a novice point of view is just as valuable.

Our main computer is back and working, avec new power supply, which is a Good Thing. I hadn't realized how often I looked things up online until I needed to scout around for activities to keep our guests amused (assuming that just basking in our glorious presence isn't enough for these ingrates :)). Train and bus schedules, museum, zoo, and park locations and hours, movie listings, news... none of this is on paper for us.

And a few other links, in no real order or theme...

Tact Filters - it makes so much sense!
Royal Blood - maybe I am a bad person. These are pretty.
The Brothers Grimm - OooOOooooo, Monica Bellucci! >>drool<<
MirrorMask - This has been "coming soon" for so long now! Argh!


So, still no pictures of anything, but this time I have an excuse. Well, more of an explanation. R:tAG's computer was apparently fried by a brownout a few days ago (and this is in spite of being connected to a UPS... grrrr) so uploading pictures is way more of a pain because we're using our agonizingly slow auxiliary backup emergency computer. Plus, at the moment, R:tAG has the camera.

Anyway, I just saw Bne and Rilla safely off to the airport after their week here. It was really, really, really nice to see them both again, and our subsequent visitors should not worry about us being burnt out on guests because we really miss all y'all. Burnt out on driving, maybe (it's always a bit of a shock to realize how much time one has to spend in a car here). But as I was thinking on the drive home, there is still a lot that we actually didn't even get to with Bne and Rilla, and what we did do, I wouldn't mind doing again. Well, except for seeing Batman Begins. It's a fine movie, but three times in as many weeks would be a bit much. But we also saw the Serenity trailer, which looks so great that I'm bouncing up and down slightly just thinking about it. I'm such a raving fangirl, it's embarassing.

So now the house is quiet... too, too quiet. Quieter than it's been since Friday night, when everyone was away playtesting CoV. A different sort of quiet than three people sitting together reading (which was every morning that wasn't spent in a car getting somewhere... >>happy sigh<<) I suppose I'll just be getting used to it again by the time our next guests arrive. This is the kind of problem I don't mind having.


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